Important but Not Widely Known Health-Related Facts (Part II)
Physician's Weekly
March 19, 2024
Important but Not Widely Known Health-Related Facts (Part II)

Widespread crime is DETRIMENTAL to one’s health

The omnipresence of crime within a society can have the following impact on individuals; including those who are not directly impacted by it.
• Insomnia
• Hypertension
• Diabetes
• Heart attacks
• Strokes
• Obesity
• Accidents
• Asthma
• Gastrointestinal complications
• Seizures
• Headaches
• Back/ neck pain
• Increased substance abuse
• Stress/ Depression/ Anxiety
• Weakened immune system
• Premature death

The use of marijuana INCREASES CHANCES of cardiovascular disease

Daily smoking of cannabis increases one’s chances of getting a heart attack by 25%, and stroke by 42%, respectively.

Vaginal bleeding after menopause REQUIRES tissue analysis

A woman is considered to be in menopause once she has not had a period for 12 consecutive months. After this, any vaginal bleeding requires the sampling of the endometrium (womb’s lining) and analysis by a pathologist to rule out uterine/ endometrial cancer.

Heavy backpacks can lead to PERMANENT DEFORMITIES of a child’s spine

A child’s backpack should never exceed 10% of their body weight. Heavy backpacks are associated with a range of health problems inclusive of deformities (e.g. scoliosis and kyphosis) of a child’s growing and malleable spine.

Women DO NOT need a PAP smear every year

The recommendations regarding PAP smears are:

  • Women should begin having PAP smears at age 21 (once they have had vaginal intercourse) and every three years after that.
  • From age 30, as an alternative to three yearly PAP smears, women can have a PAP smear combined with HPV antigen testing every five years.
  • At 65 and beyond women should discuss with their doctor if a PAP smear is necessary.

Inadequate mental health services can significantly IMPACT a country’s socioeconomic well being

Suboptimal mental health services often result in:
• Increased unemployment
• Reduced productivity
• Increased work absenteeism
• Increased burden on social security service
• Increase in criminal activity
• Increase in murders
• Increase in criminal justice cost
• Increase in suicides

Hair dyes and chemical hair straighteners are SERIOUSLY harming Black women

There is an increasing body of evidence showing that Black women who used permanent hair dyes, and those who chemically straighten their hair significantly increased their chances of developing breast and uterine cancers.

Bedsores SHOULD NOT be cleaned with caustic cleaning agents

Bedsores should ONLY be cleaned with water or normal saline. Hydrogen peroxide, iodine, surgical alcohol, and other caustic cleaning agents kill healthy cells within the wound, ultimately slowing healing.

Nighttime is the BEST TIME to take blood pressure meds

Studies show that for the best blood pressure control and to significantly reduce the chances of heart disease and stroke, blood pressure medications should be taken at night.

Iron supplements can be HARMFUL

For men and older women who are iron deficient, the specific reason for the deficiency needs to be identified. Routine consumption of iron supplements in persons who are not iron deficient can result in liver damage, heart disease, diabetes, and accelerated dementia.

Persons with lupus should AVOID GARLIC

Johns Hopkins University reports that systemic lupus patients who consumed garlic (an immune stimulant) had more flare-ups of their lupus.

Unable to balance on one leg for 10 seconds or more can spell TROUBLE

The inability to balance on one leg for 10 seconds or more is associated with an increased risk of death from any cause within 10 years. Exercises that improve balance enhance life expectancy.

Panadol/ paracetamol/ Tylenol, acetaminophen should be taken WITHOUT FOOD

Food slows and reduces absorption. So they are best taken on an empty stomach.

H. pylori eradication can SAVE YOUR LIFE

H. pylori stomach infections can cause stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Four weeks after treatment a stool antigen test or urea breath test must be done to confirm its eradication.

Mammograms under the age of 40 are NOT VERY USEFUL

Women under the age of 40 have dense breasts so a mammogram is not a good tool for the early detection of breast cancer in these women.

Dengue IgM antibody testing shortly after the onset of symptoms is USELESS

Dengue IgM antibodies in the blood are indicative of a recent dengue infection. However, IgM antibodies may take up to seven days after the onset of symptoms to be detectable. A negative dengue IgM result before day 7 cannot definitively rule out dengue.

Exercise REDUCES the chances of developing cancer

Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing cancer of the breast, prostate, colon, uterus (endometrium), and possibly pancreas.

Lie on your right side if you need medicine to start working RAPIDLY

Lying on your right side for 30-45 minutes after ingesting medicine by mouth ensures that it is rapidly absorbed.

Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is NOT RECOMMEND

Some examples of PPIs include omeprazole, Alocid, pantoprazole, and Nexium. Long-term use increases the chances of kidney disease, dementia, osteoporosis, heart disease, and stomach cancer in persons with H. Pylori infection.

Author: Dr. C. Malcolm Grant – Family Physician, Family Care Clinic, Arnos Vale. Former tutor in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados. For appointments: 1 (784)570-9300 (Office), 1(784)455-0376 (WhatsApp)
Disclaimer: The information provided in the above article is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you are seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Dr. C. Malcolm Grant, Family Care Clinic or The Searchlight Newspaper or their associates, respectively, are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information provided above.